Thursday, January 26, 2017

I Am Jackie Robinson by Brad Meltzer ( #ReadYourWorld)

I am thrilled today to be showcasing and reviewing I Am Jackie Robinson as part of Multicultural Children's Book Day,  whose mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves.

This special book is part of Ordinary People Change the World, an engaging and fun series that bring American history to life, providing young children with inspiring role models, supplementing the Common Core learning in classrooms, and, best of all, inspiring them to dream and achieve.

Book Details:

Book Title: I Am Jackie Robinson by Brad Meltzer
Illustrator: Christopher Eliopoulos
Series: Ordinary People Change the World
Category: Children's Fiction,  40 pages
Genre: Biographies / Sports & Recreation
Publisher: Dial Books
Release date: January 8, 2015
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

This New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series by Brad Meltzer has an inspiring message: We can all be heroes.

Jackie Robinson always loved sports, especially baseball. But he lived at a time before the Civil Rights Movement, when the rules weren't fair to African Americans. Even though Jackie was a great athlete, he wasn't allowed on the best teams just because of the color of his skin. Jackie knew that sports were best when everyone, of every color, played together. He became the first black player in Major League Baseball, and his bravery changed African-American history and led the way to equality in all sports in America.

Our Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

What does it mean to "Be brave"? Those two words can convey so much. Jackie Robinson states no one is born brave and that it's okay to be afraid, just don't let it stop you. These words came to define him.

My whole family was impressed with how well author Brad Meltzer brought to life Jackie Robinson's life in this picture book/graphic novel. With skillful writing, humor and fantastic illustrations, the story of how Jackie Robinson came to lead the way to equality in sports in America was lively and a page-turner, even for us adults. My husband saw this book on the kitchen table and began reading it. "This is a good book," he said with a look of respect on his face. My son too, now a young teen, loved it, from the way the story and message were relayed to the "cool" illustrations.

From childhood to early adulthood, this book depicts how Jackie had to deal with racial prejudice in his life. With the wisdom displayed by his mother and a local mechanic, Jackie learned some valuable lessons that led him to be the person he became. Jackie was an ordinary kid who loved sports. And this love of sports and his exceptional skills at playing led him to be courageous as he braved the insults and barriers he had to push aside in order to redefine sportsmanship.

This all comes through beautifully with vocabulary and situations both boys and girls can relate to. It's a kid's book appropriate for ages 4 to 100. Chris Eliopoulos' comic drawings are fun, lively and full of emotions. There was one drawing that brought tears to my eyes. A black man in the stadium audience who has his arm around his young son as they both watch the game. A tear is tricking down his cheek. Powerful.

Although my hometown city Montreal is known for its legendary National Hockey League team, it made history in 1946 when the Montreal Royals, the Brooklyn Dodgers farm team, broke the color barrier when they played Jackie Robinson. Montreal fans cheered and accepted the first black player who made history with his famous home run. This was mentioned in the book.

What an inspiring important book this is! I highly recommend it as a tool to teach American history, social studies, moral ethics and sports history. This one is a gem.

Disclosure: Thanks to Brad Meltzer and Dial Books for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the Author:

Brad Meltzer is the New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle and several other top selling political thrillers. In addition to his fiction, Brad has been on the bestseller list for his nonfiction, advice, children’s books, and graphic books. He is the host of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel, and Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on H2. He earned his law degree from Columbia University, where he was on the Columbia Law Review.

Connect with Brad: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

About the Illustrator:

Chris Eliopoulos has worked in every aspect of comic book creation. He’s most known as a prolific letterer, but in recent years has begun writing and drawing comics, some of which have been nominated for Eisner and Harvey awards.

He’s created books like Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius and the Pet Avengers for Marvel. He’s also created a webcomic called Misery Loves Sherman.

Connect with Chris: Website

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey PressCandlewick Press Fathers IncorporatedKidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember:
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents:

If you want to share this post and this event please use #ReadYourWorld.

Thanks so much!

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  1. Looks great. JR had such a huge impact on the world!

  2. Aren't these biographies by Brad Meltzer wonderful? Your review is spot on.

  3. Thanks for the in-depth review - loved the peeks inside too! Such a great series for bringing these important people (and BIG topics) to younger readers. #ReadYourWorld


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